Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Road Trip... Take One

Every summer when the calendar shows only a few weeks left of those glorious months of freedom I go into this crazy over drive mode.  My chest tightens.  My heart pounds a little faster.  I throw things into suitcases and hit the hills.  Literally.

So per my annual tradition - we did it.  We went light on plans and ended up high on magic.

Our first stop?  The Fremont Indian State Park Museum.  The boys wore the threads, saw the writings on the wall, used a matate and set foot in a pithouse replica.  They liked this more than I imagined they would and as we hiked around the hills they kept their eyes peeled for lizards and arrow heads.
(Boone's Face  LOL  He was not a fan of that hole)
That night we stayed on Monroe Mountain - home to some of the most beautiful views and some fond memories in my heart.  The mountain's deer herd is getting healthy again and we found a couple of bachelors hiding in the forest together growing some big racks.

We carved Boone's name into the family tree this trip -- It's official now, we're keeping him.  :)  And added the year '17 to the boys' growing list of years.


We whittled, smore-d, giggled and hiked around until it was dark out and our fire got puny.  Then the boys did tricks off the bunk bed railings and after many a shenanigan we all finally slept.
As we drove off the mountain the boys took turns adding their part to a fictional tale we all collaborated to create.  Those right there - those hours logged in the car, in the mountains, pool side, hiking through sandy paths... those are the things I hope they'll remember.

I know I will.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Pioneer Day Shenanigans...

Way back on July 24th we were traveling home from steamy St. George and we stopped at my home town to cool off and celebrate Pioneer Day with my parents. 
The boys dressed the part -- kind of.  I mean, here they look more like Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch than hard working pioneer settlers, but we'll just roll with it.  
They walked the parade route and threw candy in yet another small town celebration.  They've got the wave, smile, throw big hand fulls of candy shtick DOWN pat I tell you.  I should probably rent them out next summer to some high paying float operation.  :)
Then as an extra bonus we carted them a bit further - and to ten degrees cooler - to Wayne Wonderland.  They were rewarded with endless laps around Grandpa's back yard on the wheelers and the motorcycle.  It was Heaven... according to them.

Boone was thrilled beyond belief to ride Grandpa's tractor.  In the garage.  Without the engine on.  Ha!  But I'll tell you Grandpa turned the key on to give him a little thrill and that wee dude knew immediately how the magic was made.  Game over.  Keys had to be put away somewhere VERY high and out of reach of the baby mountain goat.
We checked on our favorite view and enjoyed the rain showers. 
That smell.... there is nothing better.
Sometimes you gotta involve ALL your senses in a summer rain shower.
And to top it off the boys devoured dutch oven potatoes and mutton (gag). Annnnnd caught water dogs at the kids grab.  You guys, just when you think a fish grab can't be topped they go ahead and load up bins full of salamanders!  :)
I would like to tie this all up with a bow and somehow work salamanders into Pioneer day, but I'll be honest - this one has me at a loss.
So Cheers - to the last couple weeks of summer.  LOL

Friday, August 4, 2017

Birthday, Baptism, Bravo...

Kaelster went and turned eight on us.
This year called for a family party per our every other year tradition.  But on the last night of being seven Ryan took Kael and Ashton, his best friend, out to dinner and a movie.  It was adorable and they were thrilled to have a big late night together.
And the next morning, our little birthday boy was all smiles...
Our baseball fan has turned to the dark side and claims allegiance to the Yankees (what?) and asked some fan gear.  He is still an army lovin' lad and got a new remote control tank for his collection of army guys.  And he dug for gems at least half the day thanks to his gem dig kits.  :)  What a boy. 
And then the very next day was his Baptism.
(I CANNOT get over this little handsome devil in a SUIT!)
A baptism is a great way to bring out the best in those who are a part of your life.  Sweet Kael had put together such a killer program for his special day and once cousin Wyatt said the world's most sincere and darling opening prayer I was already emotional.
I can't believe we're here at this point.  I can remember that first time meeting him in the hospital like it was yesterday.  I remember our tiny family in the temple when we were sealed as if it was just last week.  I know it's fine.  I know it's inevitable.  I know we're spending all the quality time we can with our favorite little dudes - but it's still a whirlwind of growth at too rapid a rate for my mama heart that has a vise like grip on my babies and their childhood.
We are so proud of you, bud.  Always remember the way it felt to make special promises with God today.  Remember the gift you received of the Holy Ghost and make him one of your best friends.  Remember ALL the people who gathered around you to support you on this milestone day.  
You're someone special little love.  And we're so glad some special folks were able to be there with you on your special day too.
It was a little slice of Heaven... + an extra large slice of chocolate cake.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

These Are My People...

Despite my most concerted efforts to look to the sunny side of life - occasionally I feel that I am largely living in a reactionary fashion as I respond to the mayhem and messes and schedules of parenting.  It's just a part of the gig.
You know what's refreshing?  Looking at these little mugs and realizing this is our life - and life is good.  And no, we can't control everything, but we can really have some influence and teach our little brood that life can be good all the time if you're willing to seek it out and work towards it.
Now --caveat:  Ryan says there is NO silver lining or joy in family picture night. :)  But me?  I would do it all again and listen to them howl & whine and have sweat drip down my back to get the reward.  Years from now when I am old and losing my memory I will have these pixels that form together to capture the seven, seven, five and one and a half year old faces of my boys... and the forty year old Ryan (that's a good vintage) and me, tired and happy at 37.
And I'll be SO so so grateful.
When I look at these faces I am newly motivated to do my best to make our family life happy and purposeful...  I want my kids to feel joy, love and fulfillment in their own lives.  I want them to think big - but also appreciate the magic in the small and simple things and be content in those too.
This is such a sacred season of life when our kids are small and dreams are big.  When magic is real.  Laughter is easy.  Challenges are present.  Responsibilities are heavy.  Life is busy.  And there is so much gratitude for all of it.
This season is really, really special and absolutely worth celebrating.
Love you guys.
Your Dad and You make my world go 'round.
Cheers to the Good Life - AND Family Pictures.  :)